By Laine Dyer
Charlestown, RI—In honor of its 50th Anniversary Season, organizers at Charlestown’s General Stanton Inn Flea Market, are hoping to add 50 new vendors to its ranks of sellers, who return season after season to market their wares, at the outdoor, weekend Flea Market, from late April through mid-October.
The General Stanton Flea Market features booths selling antiques, collectibles, new and boutique items, crafts, art and Farmers’ Market merchandise. According to Janice Falcone, who has owned and operated both the Inn and the Flea Market since 1973, people selling local produce, plants, vegetables and other Farmers’ Market items, have added a desired new dimension to the Flea Market during the last few seasons.
“Well, let’s say they give us a “fresh” look, Falcone quips. “Tomato and basil plants, bright flowers, delicious mid-summer fruits and vegetables and jams–they all seem quite at home among the wooden kitchen tools, hand-woven baskets and and all the other farmhouse antiques and collectibles sold here each week.”
“We’d also like to see a wider variety of “home-grown” crafts for sale this year. On a peak Summer Sunday, we can get 1,000 to 2,000 folks out here browsing and buying– and many of them are from different states and different countries. Many are hoping to head home with something handmade from this area–a real Rhode Island souvenir. Perhaps some of the on-line sellers in the area, might want to take a break this summer and set up here. There’s no better–or more fun– place to spend some “face-time” than at a Flea Market!”
The octogenarian Ms. Falcone also hopes to attract a few more food trucks to Charlestown over the next six months.
“In past seasons, the aroma of that popping Kettle Korn and the puckering, refreshing taste of Del’s Lemonade have added to the festive feel at our Flea Market. Yet to be able to grab a Greek salad or a fish taco here at the Flea Market, would be something else, altogether…”
10 x 20-feet booths are available at rates ranging from $20.-$35. per day, depending on the location. Selling areas are available against the fence, on the grass and in pre-tarped rows. Vendors need to supply their own tables, chairs and sunbrellas, if they are not choosing a booth under the pre-tarped sections of the Market. The Flea Market is set among the seven, tree-lined acres that make up the property of the historic, General Joseph Stanton Inn, which was established in 1667. It is one of the oldest inns in the country and was once a regular coach stop between Providence and New London. It is located at 4115 Old Post Road in Charlestown, 02813.
The General Stanton Inn Flea Market also welcomes what Ms. Falcone refers to as “instant tag sales.”
“We love our full-Season vendors, yet if you just want to set up your own, one-time, tag sale right here, we’re fine with that. Why not take advantage of our built-in publicity and ever-expanding customer base, and clear out your cottage and garage of things someone else can use?”
Ms. Falcone is especially proud of the Flea Market’s role in the community. All non-profit organizations are invited to set up sales and/or informational booths at the Flea Market on any weekend, free of charge.
“We’re also Charlestown’s ‘cracker barrel,’ where neighbors come to meet and greet and exchange town and beach news. I can’t tell you how many times someone has stopped me while I’m buzzing around the market on my motorized cart, and asked me if I’ve seen ‘so-and-so’ that day. And more often than not, I have.”
The General Stanton Inn Flea Market is now open Saturdays, Sundays and Holiday Mondays through Columbus Day, 8 a.m.-4p.m. (Since late April, it has been open on Sundays only.)
For further information or to reserve a vendor space, call Janice Falcone at 401-364-1818 or 401-364-8888. www.generalstantoninn.com